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Monday, October 17, 2016

This is how Dubai plans to get rid of TRAFFIC JAMS!

RTA's Driverless Electric Modular Pods project is in line with the government's vision to have 25 per cent of all transportation trips smart and driverless by 2030.
(File photo)
  • The pods, which will be ordered using the Careem app, will pick up residents from different locations.

  • The pods, which will be ordered using the Careem app, will pick up residents from different locations.


The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is working with Careem to develop a driverless pod technology that would help solve the congestion problem on Dubai roads.

The Driverless Electric Modular Pods is a project in line with the government's vision to have 25 per cent of all transportation trips smart and driverless by 2030.

The pods, which will be ordered using the Careem app, will pick up residents from different locations. These pods will then connect people to vehicles specified for certain locations. After this, the driverless vehicles will drop the commuters to their specified areas.

"The main feature is the modular piece, which will tackle the problem of congestion," said Basil Al Nahlawi, vice-president of business development and government relations at Careem. "Instead of having 80 cars picking up 80 people, we can have 10 pods moving 80 people."

The technology will first be tested with drivers "since regulations need to be put in place to start using driverless vehicles".

Mousa Al Raeisy, director of administrative services at RTA, said a full strategy will be put in place by the beginning of 2017.

The project will be part of the Dubai Future Accelerators programme, a 12-week programme that allows government and private entities to work on developing innovative technologies to solve the country's challenges.

The RTA's partner in the project - which is still in the development and testing phase - is Next, a US-based company that provides the technology of modulars. Careem will provide the app for users.

According to Al Nahlawi, with the right funding and time, the project can be expected to be tested in restricted areas within the next 12 months. "There is a functional prototype of the project. However, with the right funding from authorities, we are hoping to translate it into a life-size model," said Al Nahlawi.

The RTA has earlier patterned with Careem to provide limos on the online booking platform.

HOW THE DRIVERLESS PODS WORK

> The pods, which will be ordered using Careem app, will pick up residents from different locations

> These pods will then connect people to vehicles specified for certain locations

> After this, the driverless vehicles will drop the commuters to their specified areas.


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